Help with Itinerary Kenya and Tanzania

Old Nov 19th, 2005, 03:46 PM
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Help with Itinerary Kenya and Tanzania

I am planning a safari for a group of 4 or more couples. I have been reading posts for a long time and I have learned so much from everyone. It will be a private safari in February of 07. It will be a first time safari for all of us. Here is the itinerary.

Day 1 Fly from London to Nairobi, Kenya (overnight flight)- Intercontinental Hotel in Nairobi
Day 2 Nairobi-Intercontinental Hotel
Day 3 Fly to Masai Mara-Olonana Tented Camp
Day 4 Masai Mara-Olonana Tented Camp
Day 5 Masai Mara-Olonana Tented Camp
Day 6 Fly to Nairobi-drive to Lake Nakuru-Sarova Lion Lodge
Day 7 Lake Nakuru- Sarova Lion Lodge
Day 8 Drive to Amboseli National Park-Ol Tukai Lodge
Day 9 Amboseli- Ol Tukai Lodge
Day 10 Drive to Arusha-visit Arusha National Park-Impala Hotel
Day 11 Drive to Tarangire National Park-Sopa Lodge
Day 12 Tarangire-Sopa Lodge
Day 13 Drive to Lake Manyara National Park-E Unoto Retreat-Visit Mtu we Mbo village
Day 14 Drive to Ngorongoro Crater, stopping at Gibb’s Farm for lunch-Sopa Lodge. Enjoy an afternoon drive at the Crater
Day 15 Drive to Serengeti after a morning drive at the Crater- Kusini Camp
Day 16 Serengeti-Kusini Camp
Day 17 Serengeti-Kusini Camp
Day 18 Drive to Serona and catch a plane to Arusha, Tanzania. Take an evening flight to London
I appreciate any advice or help.

blessing is offline  
Old Nov 20th, 2005, 09:49 AM
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That's lots of friends together for a nice long time with a great itinerary.

Here is the one change I would make if it were my trip. I'd take the 3 days you have in the Mara and re-distribute them as follows:

Add one more day in the Serengeti, perhaps staying overnight in the central region before catching your plane. Seronera was fine for me, but you could choose a tented option or just stay another night at Kusini. At this time of year I think 4 nights in the Serengeti is warranted.

That leaves two days that I'd spend in the Northern part of Kenya where you will likely other animal species such as the Reticulated Giraffe, Grevy's Zebra, Gerenuk, Somali Ostrich, and Oryx. My choice would be to stay in Samburu, which is a good spot for leopard. As to where to stay, I've only been at the more budget minded Samburu Lodge but found it to be great. There are many more upscale options, such as Elephant Camp where you can track elephants on foot. That's where I'll go next time I am in Samburu.

To justify the change I suggested: While the Mara always has good game, in February the Serengeti would be superior to the Mara for wildlife. Samburu or another northern location expands the species you will see.

If your heart is set on the Masai Mara, or you are hoping to experience it with less crowding, you would have good game viewing there. So I would not consider it a mistake to spend three nights there, I'd just do something else.

Have a great trip and please post upon your return.
atravelynn is offline  
Old Nov 20th, 2005, 02:23 PM
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I too love the Mara at any time, but in February I'd rather head north to Samburu for the same reasons mentioned above... animals not seen elsewhere on your safari.

You can work your way north via Lake Nakuru, then to Samburu from where you can fly to the Mara. From the Mara fly to NBO and drive to Amboseli.

Once in Tanzania, I'd either do Tarangire or Lake Manyara, not both. Tarangire would be my choice as it is a favorite of mine. This would give you another day at the Crater or half-day before heading to Kusini. And for the extra day here I would try to be in the Central area to catch the flight to Arusha. Otherwise, from Kusini you'd have to leave at sunrise to get to Central in time from your flight.

Day 1 - Arv. o/n Intercontinental
Day 2 - morning Daphne Sheldrik Elephant Orphanage; afternoon drive to Lake Nakuru - o/n
Day 3 - Lake Nakuru
Day 4 - Drive to Mt. Kenya - o/n Sweetwater's Camp
Day 5 - Drive to Samburu - o/n Serena Lodge, Intrepid's or Larsen's Camps
Day 6 - Samburu
Day 7 - Fly to the Mara
Day 8 - Masai Mara
Day 9 - Fly to NBO, drive to Amboseli
Day 10 - Amboseli
Day 11 - Amboseli to Namanga border, to Arusha, to Tarangire or Lk. Manyara
Day 12 - Tarangire or Lk. Manyara
Day 13 - Drive to Ngorongoro - afternoon crater tour or
Day 14 - Crater tour; afternoon drive to Kusini
Day 15 - Kusini
Day 16 - Kusini
Day 17 - morning Kusini; afternoon to Central (Serena or Sopa Lodge)
Day 18 - Flight to Arusha

Gives you a more diverse itinerary and more time in the Serengeti which is ideal for February.
Old Nov 21st, 2005, 04:30 PM
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Thanks so much for your suggestions, Atravelynn and Sandi. I had wondered if I should include the Mara. But, if wild life is so much better in the Serengeti, I think we will stay there an extra day and eliminate the Mara.

We are thinking of the Serena Lodge. Or do you have another suggestion? Do you feel one night in the central area is enough? Some of us would like to do the air balloon ride offered by the Serena. I did not realize Kusini is so far from the flight in the central area of the Serengeti. Thanks for pointing that out, Sandi.
Our thinking on Samburu is that it looks pretty far from Lake Nakuru and also it has very high temperatures in February.
Another question for Sandi: Why do you feel we should go to either Tarangire or Lake Manyara, not both?

blessing is offline  
Old Nov 22nd, 2005, 05:39 AM
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February is definitely the time to be in the Serengeti. But that doesn't mean to eliminate the Mara completely, unless you plan to return... which I'm sure you will... most first-time visitor's do. The reason, I also cut the Mara from 3-days to 2-days.

While it is usually warmer the further north you travel in February, it's still not so unbearable to skip Samburu. And, yes, from Lake Nakuru to Samburu is too long for a 1-day transfer, therefore the stop at Sweetwater's (mid-way) and here you'll find the Jane Goodall Chimp Sanctuary.

The reason I mention Tarangire or Manyara, is based on number of days you have and trying to eliminate as many one-nighters as possible; even giving you a bit more time at the Crater than an afternoon arrival, rather rushed afternoon crater tour; putting the Crater tour the following morning, leaving for Kusini in the afternoon (w/o the actual second-night at the Crater).

Yes, Kusini is in the Southeast Serengeti, whereas your flight departure to Arusha is in the Central areas. You can do the hot-air balloon in the Serengeti as you would in the Mara. But the lift-off point for this is in the Central Serengeti. Another reason to arrive at Central the afternoon prior, schedule the balloon the morning before returning to Arusha. Lift-off is about 5:30am, so being in Central is perfect with sufficient time (flight about 1+ hrs, champagne breakfast) then you're off to Arusha.
Old Nov 22nd, 2005, 12:28 PM
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Thanks Sandi,
I do like your ideas! I will ask my fellow travelers their opinion. I don't know if they will think this trip is too long. If so, what would you cut?
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Old Nov 22nd, 2005, 05:58 PM
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I have asked some of my travel companions and they feel an 18 day itinery is too long and will probably be too expensive. I need to eliminate some of it. I'm thinking of removing the Mara and Samburu. Also, how long does it take to drive from Lake Nakuru to Amboseli? And, how long does it take to drive from Amboseli, across the boarder, arriving at Tarangire?
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Old Nov 22nd, 2005, 07:00 PM
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If you are going to cut the Mara, you should cut Lake Nakuru too. Its a nice park, but it now doesn't make sense to drive there and then back South to Amboseli. Might as well spent more time at Tarangira, Ngorongoro or the Serengeti.

Or you can go on to Chylulu Hills from Amboseli 1st before going to Tarangira. One alternative-Ol Donyo Wuas
luangwablondes is offline  
Old Dec 30th, 2005, 08:30 AM
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You won't regret staying at Olonana.
Jed is offline  
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